Sawyer Strelnieks–Staff Writer
During winter break, the Dordt Recreation Center—or the Rec Center—got a fresh look and rearrangement of its facilities while students were off campus on winter vacation.
Students returning to campus were welcomed by a newly renovated Rec Center with a new athlete weight room. The old sports weight room was converted into a community weight room. All the equipment from the weight room next to the track was moved to the new community weight room and students had to say goodbye to “muscle beach.” The space next to the track is currently being transitioned into an aerobic fitness center.
With Rise Gymnastics opening up this past fall in Sioux Center, all the gymnastics equipment that was in the Rec Center got moved out.
“Our situation before this transition consisted of one weight room shared by athletics, community and general students,” lifting coach Kyle Van Wyk said. “This often resulted in a balance that often felt tricky to manage on both ends of the spectrum.”
Once the gymnastics equipment was moved out, this freed up space for a new sports team weight room. They began with painting the gymnastics room and moving workout equipment out of the old workout room and into the new athlete weight room.
The new space created for Dordt athletes brought a lot of positive feedback from athletes and coaches.
“The student-athletes marvel at how much more space is available to perform their training,” Van Wyk said. “Possibly the thing I am most pleased with is that this project has been done very stewardly, while also being a noticeable upgrade from our previous space and situation.”
Student athletes have access to this weight room and an open plyometric area next door.
Many students who do not participate in athletics but are involved with maintaining a healthy lifestyle have a space that is open to them at all times now, and don’t need to worry about lifting around the team workout schedules.
Students that regularly lift are both pleased and slightly disappointed with the new arrangement.
“Being a non-athlete, I no longer have access to a squat rack that gives enough room to comfortably preform squats,” sophomore Keegan Morren said. “It gets pretty crowded from 4 to 6 in the afternoon especially, but I have been able to use the facilities then, when before it was nearly impossible to find room to do anything during those times.”
Students and other community members that regularly use the weight room are looking for a workout area with more squat racks and access to the athlete’s weight room when a team is not scheduled to use it.
Community members question the number of plyometric boxes in the community workout room that are rarely used and take up a lot of space. Moving these boxes to a different location, such as the plyometric area by the sports weight room would free up space for more workout equipment, such as squat racks or more free weights.
“Another better option for satisfying theses needs would be to allow non-athletes access to the weight room when teams are not using it,” said Morren. “Last semester, non-athletes had access to everything and now are limited to what was in muscle beach.”
Renovations are still not finished in the Rec Center, according to Van Wyk. The rec center is still expecting to reconfigure the community weight room to include more free weights. The athletics weight room is expecting to add another squatting rack, two more glute-ham raise machines and new graphics to put up on the walls. Muscle beach is transitioning into an aerobics space that will have new equipment installed.